photo by Julia Kinkela
One childhood afternoon in an Egyptian village, my mom and I found ourselves in a tiny shop where a butcher was teaching his young son the trade. They wore long robes and didn't speak a lick of English. We didn't speak a lick of Arabic. In her typical fashion, my mom laughed and smiled as she wildly pantomimed her way past the language barrier. She hoped to photograph these people at work, the way she did wherever she traveled.
I felt a *whoosh* in that Egyptian butcher shop. It was a flutter of longing to connect with people and their stories. That's when the camera started teaching me about empathy.
>>>> Fast Forward: Because I was the kid who cried in front of cameras all the time, my number one mission as a photographer is to get people comfortable, relaxed and stoked to be there before taking a single photo. I've got a special love for working with people who feel awkward and sweaty in front of the camera. Taking after my mom, I have my own version of awkward, wild pantomiming that tends to make people loosen up and feel better about their own awkwardness. But really, I'm all about breaking past that barrier so you can create real, honest moments that give you a tingly *whoosh* when you look at them in photographs. Forget about cheesy, weird poses. Photos are about memories, not fake stuff.
I'm a fanatic of hiking, camping, being up at sunrise and listening to nerdy podcasts. I can't help but awkwardly dance a little at every wedding I photograph. Wherever I go, I love to find the quiet person in the corner because they usually have the most to say.
photo by Christian Arevalo
I love to give folks a meaningful experience that addresses the bigger picture of memory-making. It means creating meaningful moments that make you *whoosh*. Those moments are worth preserving with photos you can remember why you fell in love when love isn't so easy. It means going on adventures, belly-laughing and watching the sunset from incredible places.
So let's live in the moment and ditch the awkward posing.